Federal Grant and Award Programs

The federal government provides grants for students attending college. Most types of grants, unlike loans, are sources of financial aid that generally do not have to be repaid. Some grants listed below, such as the Federal Pell Grant and Federal SEOG are awarded only to students who have not completed a 4 years degree and demonstrate financial need. If you are interested in those grants, or in any federal student aid, start by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form.

Federal Pell Grant

The Federal Pell Grant is a need-based grant program mainly for undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's or graduate degree. In some limited cases, students might receive a Pell Grant if enrolled in a post-baccalaureate teacher certificate program. 

Eligibility: Eligibility is determined by the information the student and the parents (if the student is dependent) provide on the FAFSA form, the resulting estimated family contribution (EFC), and the number of credits for which the student is enrolled. Awards are limited to 12 full-time semesters.

2023-24 Award amount: $761-$7,395

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) are awarded to undergraduate students with exceptional financial need—those with the lowest EFC.

Eligibility: Federal Pell Grant recipients receive priority for FSEOG awards. Grants are made to all applicants who meet the award criteria on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted. This typically includes all undergraduates with an EFC of zero, including those enrolled part-time.

2023-24 Award amount: $100–$4,000

The Segal AmeriCorps Education Award is a post-service benefit earned by individuals who complete an approved term of national service in AmeriCorps programs. It is a government program that offers educational benefits to people who complete a term of intensive community service in a variety of areas.

Eligibility: Students who have worked in the AmeriCorps program may use their award toward tuition and related expenses at SAIC for degree courses, and tuition and fees, as charged on the student's SAIC account, for non-degree courses, only. Students have up to seven years after their term of service has ended to claim the award.

Award amount: Varies

The award will appear as anticipated aid on Self-Service, invoices, and statements in two (2) disbursements per semester;  one at the beginning of the term, and the 2nd is sent to SAIC after the mid-point of the term. Anticipated aid is deducted from the amount due to the school. When the funds are received, they are disbursed directly to the student's account.

To use a Segal AmeriCorps Award, log on to MyAmeriCorps and complete an online payment voucher. An electronic request will be sent to the Segal AmeriCorps representative in the SAIC Office of Student Financial Services to be certified. If approved, the request will be electronically certified, and the funds will be sent to SAIC by ACH electronic payment.

Qualifying students admitted to a degree program at SAIC will be eligible to receive up to $1000 per year for a maximum of $4000 for undergraduate students, and $2000-$3000 for graduate students depending on their course of study.  The actual amount of the award received is dependent upon the total number of credit hours taken at SAIC to complete the degree requirements. The Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, when combined with other grants/scholarship and other gift aid dollars, will be limited to tuition only.

If you are a veteran of U.S. military service, or an eligible dependent under the Dependents Educational Assistance Program, you may qualify to receive benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for your attendance at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).

SAIC's Registrar and Student Financial Services Office (Chapter 31 and Chapter 33 benefits) process degree-seeking students’ applications for the VA education benefit programs below:

  • The Montgomery GI Bill ®   (Chapter 30)
  • The Dependents Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 35)
  • The Vocational Rehabilitation Program (Chapter 31)
  • The Selected Reserve Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 1606)
  • The Post 9/11 GI Bill, including the Yellow Ribbon Program

To determine your eligibility for veteran's benefits, you visit the VA website at gibill.va.gov, or contact them at 1.888.GIBILL1 (442.4551).

If you have any questions about this process, please contact the SAIC Registrar at 312.629.6700.

Once you have determined your eligibility, completed the VA application process, and received your certificate of eligibility, you should visit the SAIC Registrar, Certifying Officer for SAIC, to submit your paperwork and discuss the details of the process. You should provide a copy of your certificate of eligibility to the SAIC Registrar. Upon receipt of this information, the Registrar will certify your enrollment and the Student Financial Services office will review your financial aid package for the inclusion of your VA benefits to be used for your attendance at SAIC.

The Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program (Yellow Ribbon Program) is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. Degree-granting institutions in the United States voluntarily enter into an annual agreement with the VA to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program. Starting with the 2017–18 academic year, eligible veterans admitted and enrolled in a degree program at SAIC may receive a maximum of $7,500 from the school in Yellow Ribbon funds. The actual amount of the benefit will be based on the number of credit hours taken and charged each semester. Under the Yellow Ribbon Program, the VA will match SAIC’s contribution to eligible veterans for each academic year that SAIC participates in the program. Starting with the 2017-18 academic year, the VA matching funds is a maximum of $7,500 at SAIC.